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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Things to do in Ahungalla and Suburbs – A Small Town, An Abundance of Adventure.
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Ahungalla and Suburbs – A Small Town, An Abundance of Adventure.

Ahungalla is home to several luxury resorts, but they are not its only attraction. Here's a list of 8 things you can do in and around the small coastal town.

1

Beach Hopping

There are plenty of beaches in and around Ahungalla that are easily accessible to the public. Ahungalla Beach, where sweeping stretches of golden sand meets vast blue waters, is one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and is the perfect place to relax, sunbathe, picnic and do some yoga. Bentota beach, located on the outskirts of Ahungalla, is definitely worth a visit as well; this beach is outlined with beautiful clusters of palm trees and is the shadier option of the two.

2

Spice Garden

Ahungalla has several Spice Gardens where you can learn about the healing qualities of spice plants and herbs, as well as Ayurveda medicine – a traditional and ancient form of medicine, still prevalent in Sri Lanka that uses natural and herbal remedies to heal the body and the soul.

3

Whale Watching

Many a beach hotel in Sri Lanka offers whale watching tours, including ones in Ahungalla, like Heritance Ahungalla. These involve an early start, with the hotels driving you up to Mirissa where you can embark on this truly unforgettable experience. There’s nothing quite like witnessing the puff of a blowhole and the graceful fall of Blue Whale’s tail fluke.

4

Kosgoda Sea Turtle Hatchery

Five of the seven sea turtle species in the world nest in Sri Lanka and Ahungalla is home to a number of Sea Turtle Hatcheries which aim to increase the number of turtles born in the country by protecting them from predators and poachers. Some also act as a rescue and rehabilitation centre where injured turtles are cared for and released back into the waters, so you are sure to see a number of these turtles on your visit.

5

Madhu Ganga Safari

Madhu Ganga located in Balapitiya (about 10 minutes from Ahungalla) is a rich, mangrove ecosystem thought to be one of the last remaining territories of untouched mangrove forests. Boat safaris take you along the Madhu Ganga (‘ganga’ meaning ‘river’) where you will be able to see some of the hundreds of bird, animal and plant species that call this area home from herons to monkeys to the occasional crocodile and sometimes, if you go at the right time, even jellyfish!

6

Mask Shopping in Ambalangoda

Ambalangoda, a village outside Ahungalla, is the best centre for antique and mask shopping. These unique masks have a rich and vibrant history in Sri Lanka and are featured in pageants and processions, traditional dramas, comedies and dances and also in ceremonies to cure illnesses and exorcise demons. You can learn about all this as well as Sri Lanka’s puppeteering history at the Mask Museum in Ambalangoda.

7

Brief Garden and Lunuganga

Step into the mind (and home) of the famed architect Geoffrey Bawa himself at Lunuganga. The former rubber plantation was meticulously shaped and reshaped by Geoffrey Bawa to visionary perfection and used by the architect to experiment with space, light, and scale for almost 50 years. Brief Garden, a rubber plantation converted to a series of magnificent, sweeping landscaped gardens by Geoffrey Bawa’s brother, Bevis Bawa, is definitely worth a visit as well.

8

The Sitting Buddha and Kowillawatta Temple

Galapota Temple located on the southern bank of the Bentota River is an impressive 12th century temple and the dwelling place of the famous sitting Buddha. The temple walls adorn some beautiful murals and its 2500-year-old stupa is said to contain the tooth relic of Kasyapa, the Buddha’s main disciple. You can also visit Kowillawatta temple in Balapitiya which is a great place to learn about Buddhism in Sri Lanka or even just to visit. The serene, picturesque temple has many statues and paintings depicting the life of the Buddha and the friendly monks and caretakers of the temple are more than willing to guide you through the Buddha’s story as well.

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